Italy News Round-Up XIII: #Dante750, Uffizi Exhibition in a Mobster’s Home

My Pocket list of saved articles has been going through a workout lately. So here is one big Italy News Round-Up. I’ve done about 12 of these things over the life of this blog (and now 13 – XIII). But I will probably end up doing more.

For more links to Italy travel, art, culture, and history in the news, see my Italofile Facebook page or Twitter.


Dante Turns 750 [The New Yorker]

This year marks the 750th birthday of Dante Alighieri. For the New Yorker, Professor John Kleiner talks about what Dante means to Italians and about the more than 100 events that are planned for this occasion, including the “selfie con Dante” campaign with cardboard cutouts in Florence.

Uffizi Gallery Exhibition in Former Mobster’s Mansion [Hyperallergic]

In a moving, nonviolent act of revenge, a mayor in Campania and the Uffizi Gallery have teamed up to turn a mafia don’s confiscated home into a temporary art gallery. “The Light Wins Over the Shadow” will honor the memory of Peppe Diana, a priest who was shot by the Camorra in 1994, by displaying a number of chiaroscuro works from the Uffizi at the Casal di Principe.

Construction Workers in Bologna Uncover Ancient Roman Road [Repubblica]

It makes sense that the 1st Century AD Roman road Via Emilia was lying a few meters under the current roads in Bologna, the capital of Emilia-Romagna. But workers plan to cover it back up “for another 2,000 years” after they finish work on the Via Rizzoli and Via Ugo Bassi. Take a look at the road in the video from ETV (h/t Italy Explained). (Click here if you can’t see the embedded video.)


Olive Oil

The New York Times has published two notable articles on olives and olive oil in the past weeks. Read about disease taking hold of Italy’s olive trees then immerse yourself in this article on harvesting and bottling olive oil at its source.


Two pieces about prosecco follow a similar story arc. The Telegraph goes on holiday to visit the Veneto’s prosecco-producing vineyards. Meanwhile, The Drinks Business rains on our fizzy parade with a warning that there may be a prosecco shortage this summer.

More Recent Articles:

Restoration Work Begins on Bodies of Those Who Died When Vesuvius Engulfed Pompeii -Some startling photos in this Daily Mail report. [Daily Mail]

What to Watch Out For at the 2015 World’s Fair in Milan -In my first piece for Mashable, I wrote about the Milan Expo and some of the cool things to watch out for at this summer’s foodie extravaganza. [Mashable]

Italian Town Sets Tiramisu Record [The Local]

15 Italian Street Foods You Need to Eat [Yahoo Travel]

Italian Intellectuals and Artists Launch Urgent Appeal to Save Medieval Village [Telegraph]

Number of Italian Beaches Awarded Prestigious Blue Flag on the Rise [Italy Magazine]

Finally, a lovely meditation on “Mediterranea” from writer Madeleine Johnson in The American, an English language magazine that focuses on Italy and expat life:

Milan may be in Mitteleuropa, but Palermo — and Sicily itself — is in an equally amorphous cultural and geographical entity I call “Mediterranea.” With no clear borders and great ethnic variety, how can you tell you’ve arrived in Mediterranea?

First, you feel it. The sun is hot.

Then, you smell it: Mediterranea’s air is perfumed by orange flowers, honeysuckle, sandalwood, hemp, diesel, garbage, frying food, and often the sea itself.

You can hear Mediterranea: small-car horns toot; motorini buzz; soccer balls “thunk” off stone walls; hawkers cry; water drips from a leaky pipe somewhere; voices — raised, sleepy or laughing — slip through closed shutters; playing cards are slapped on a table.


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